(CHICAGO) -- Shania Twain wants her voice back.
That was the theme of her appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday, during which she discussed her new memoir From This Moment On, and showed clips from her new docu-series Why Not? with Shania Twain, which premieres this weekend on the OWN network.
Twain told Winfrey that the reason she hasn't sung in public in five years is that she simply can't: she's suffering from dysphonia, which is an impairment of someone's ability to produce words. Twain explained that this is not caused by anything physical -- her vocal cords are fine. Rather, she says, it's a psychosomatic condition caused by all the emotional trauma she's suffered in her life.
The singer explained, "It's not just my singing voice, it's my 'any' voice...and that's all stemming from just plain old fear: stage fright, domestic violence in the home as a child, my parents dying, not knowing what's next. It's just all these different stages of fear in my life. I've just trapped my own voice, and now I've got to unwind all that."
As detailed in her memoir, Twain was witness as a small child to her stepfather abusing her mother. She also suffered through the trauma of her stepfather and mother both dying in a car crash, and having to suddenly be the one to support her family. Most recently, she became severely depressed when her husband and producer, Mutt Lange, left her for one of her closest friends.
Twain told Winfrey, "My fears and anxieties throughout my whole life had been slowly squeezing my voice. I was losing it slowly and progressively. What happened is when my marriage fell apart, that particular crisis was almost the straw that broke the camel's back of something that had already been building."
Twain is now on a quest to regain her voice, which she hopes to do by speaking openly about her past and confronting her fears, which she does in her docu-series.
She told Winfrey, "I want to [sing in public again] and that's the whole point of doing this. I really can't imagine not singing again."
The singer's media tour continues Wednesday with an appearance on NBC's Today show. She'll also appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 12 and on The Talk on May 18.
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